Spice up your blog with free images from Google

Image by Oberholster Venita from Pixabay

When we create blog articles we want them to be easy to read and spice them up with images and if possible with free ones.

People are visual by nature and if they come on to a website that is nothing but text, it can become pretty boring really quick.

From a marketing point of view, it is important to have at least one image on a page, is so that you can effectively share it on social media. 

Google provides lots of images, but the majority of images on Google are not free to use and the ones that are, most require some form of attribution. The ones we are looking for are Public Domain or CCO(Creative Commons Zero)

What is Public Domain or CCO?

CCO licenses allow copyright owners to release their works without restriction. Public domain works are either expired CCO licenses or work originally released with no restrictions.

If the license says “Public Domain” then you are pretty much safe to use that image. However, you will see most images having a Creative Commons License attached to it. For images that are truly 100% free to use, even commercially, and that you do not have to attribute to anyone, are CCO

Now, anyone can use these public domains or CCO-License images for their blogs

If you want to know more about creative common licenses visit this page : Creative Commons

How to use the Google Rights Filter

It is very important to set the usage rights filter before you can use any image on Google. To do this you will need to click on the “Tools” button just under the search bar within Google images as seen in the image below.

This will open up a new row of 5 or 6 selections and you will want to click on “Usage Rights” which will open up a drop-down menu as seen in the image below.

For use on your website, you will want to select either “Labeled for reuse” or “Labeled for reuse with modification“. The differences between the two are pretty self-explanatory.

Once you are given the results after selecting the filter you will notice that the majority of the images you had seen prior are no longer available. But let us say you do see an image you would like to use after setting your Google rights filter

What do you need to do now?

Let us take the picture I used on top of this article as an example :

Click on the image you want

Once you click on the image a screen will show up with that image and some other thumbnail images. What you do NOT want to do is choose any of the other alternate selections because they are NOT free to use like your selected image. So only choose your image. Now you need to determine how free the image really is.

Find out what kind of license the image has

Click on the button that says “visit page”, and depending on what kind of webpage the image appears on will make it either harder or easier to find the license information.

As the license shows: Free for commercial use. No attribution required. So we are safe to use this picture on our website 🙂

It is the polite thing to do to give attribution to the creator of the image.

You can place this information in the Captions area of the images you upload on your website.

Where to place your images

It really doesn’t matter where you place your image. The rule of thumb is a picture every 150 words.

Images are a supporting tool that can take your content from bland to exciting, but don’t overdo it . You’re a writer, not a photographer.

Typically, just for readability purposes, I’ll give the image it’s own line, with no surrounding text.

Another (faster) way to find free images

Finding totally free images on Google is not as simple as one may think. There is a lot you must do to ensure that the image you are using is really free.

So to make life easier on all of you, I will provide some links to some of the CC0 free image resources I have found.

Examples are PIXABAY and PICKUP IMAGE

For an extensive list of free image resources click here

Google Image best practices

Follow their guidelines to increase the likelihood that your content will appear in Google Images search results.

Last words

When searching for free images online you must be careful that the images you are using are free to use. The last thing you want to do is use an image you find online, like in Google Images, that is not really free for you to use. That is a great way to get sued.

All the best,

Luc

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